A Florida ICU Medical Director broke down in tears when he described the harrowing situation in the state as unvaccinated people flood hospitals in need of urgent care.
Dr. Ahmed Elhaddad of the Jupiter Medical Center spoke with CNN's Pamela Brown on Sunday about staff members' battered morale as they continue to treat desperately ill patients who chose not to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
He told Brown: "We're frustrated because we're tired of seeing people die and suffer because they did not take the vaccine. The vaccine has been available since December 14th and it's readily available.
"Over 350 million doses have been given in the United States and we're tired of telling the families that their loved ones are not going to make it."
He continued: "I recently had a patient that's 37 years old, has two kids, and she was not vaccinated. And she had to FaceTime her kids for the last time before she had, you know, a tragic end."
Dr. Elhaddad said the Delta variant, now the dominant strain the U.S., had caused major damage to patients' bodies.
He said: "This variant is eating away at the lungs. It's causing collapse of the lung. It's causing air to escape and surround the heart and compress the heart. And we're seeing the patients die faster with this variant.
"The only thing that we see that is preventing death is a vaccine."
Dr. Elhaddad continued to tell CNN that not one person in the ICU was vaccinated and that all seriously ill patients had, for one reason or another, chosen not to get jabbed.
But, the doctor broke into tears, his voice breaking, when he spoke about treating people he knew and added he had lost several friends to COVID-19.
He told CNN: "It's even harder when it's your friends. I have a patient now that's the father of one of my son's classmates. And he's not expected to make it. He was not vaccinated. And I also have an ICU nurse that just delivered a baby and didn't take the vaccine because she didn't know if it was safe or not.
"And it's not her fault, it's not anyone's fault. We just urge people to take the vaccine because we don't want to lose anybody else."
Florida has seen a dire increase in COVID-19 related fatalities this wave. In the state, more than 3,500 people with the virus are taking up beds in intensive care units, the second-highest in the country.
The sharp uptick in deaths even caused central Florida hospitals to order mobile morgues in order to help deal with the number of fatalities.
Despite the increase in hospital admissions and deaths, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has refused to introduce mask or vaccine mandates in the state.
But, Floridians have started to fight against Gov. DeSantis prohibition on mask mandates, with a judge ruling that school districts can require students to wear masks.
According to NPR, Judge John Cooper ruled on a lawsuit brought by parents who claimed Gov. DeSantis overstepped his authority.
Newsweek has contacted Gov. DeSantis's office for comment.